Their guest sports psychologist Josephine Perry is quoted by the Guardian saying, “it is going to be very difficult if every time you step out on a pitch it’s made clear that people don’t like you. So if you’re wanting to improve performance, booing is not very effective. What’s more, it’s so indiscriminate as to be confusing.”
b) Fans have paid lots of money to watch and will not stay quiet if they feel shortchanged.
This casts the fan as a customer who feels able to complain when he or she does not get what is wanted.
c) The Stillman argument
This says that booing Xhaka worked because “it had got him dropped.” This (although the Guardian piece does not go into it) suggests that the vocal fans can become involved in who plays – something I find worrying because I am not overwhelmed by the insight many vocal fans have into team selection. I want the manager to select the team, not the North Bank.
d) The final straw
Here the argument is that booing is a response to players’ behaviour. One might be calm and patient for a long time but then, for example, one player can’t be arsed to run back up the field to receive a goal kick and that’s it. That’s the final straw. Start booing.
In such a case booing is not about the player it is about the spectator’s needs and desires. He’s been pushed too far, and one final incident – quite possibly of little importance in itself – just sends the spectator over the edge.
This belief suggests anyone can do anything if only they try. It is of course total nonsense. Great players have that attitude, but they also have remarkable ability in the first place.
In conclusion booing your own team is becoming more common, but by and large it is much more likely to hinder than help your team. If you boo Arsenal they are most likely to do worse this time or next time, and players with a choice of clubs to come to are more likely to pick a club where booing is rare or unknown.
But of course we can’t expect everyone to understand that.
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.
- Approaching derby day we recall when Arsenal helped Tottenham get into the league